Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ou-lish] /ˈaʊ lɪʃ/
resembling or characteristic of an owl:
His thick glasses give him an owlish appearance.
Origin of owlish
First recorded in 1605-15; owl + -ish1
Related forms
owlishly, adjective
owlishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for owlish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They looked at us with commiseration; one of them sweetly, the other with his owlish fixity.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • The owlish glasses focused with noncommittal stoicism in its direction.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • They were all round and owlish, and they thickened up in middle life.

    Old Crow Alice Brown
  • Some motive they have for all their clamor, but it passes my owlish wisdom to guess what it can be.

    A Florida Sketch-Book Bradford Torrey
  • She washed the baby in it, and he stared at her all the time, with big, owlish eyes.

    Fairies and Folk of Ireland William Henry Frost
  • They reentered the city as the first owlish lights were peeping out, futile, brave little rebels against the spreading night.

    The Salamander Owen Johnson
  • Jarring gazed after her with an expression of owlish and unutterable surprise on his swarthy countenance.

    The Coxswain's Bride R.M. Ballantyne
  • She kept close to this phantom of monarchy, who came out in the day instead of midnight, with owlish, blinking eyes.

    The Countess of Charny Alexandre Dumas (pere)
British Dictionary definitions for owlish


like an owl
solemn and wise in appearance
Derived Forms
owlishly, adverb
owlishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for owlish

1610s, from owl + -ish. Related: Owlishly; owlishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for owlish

Word Value for owlish

Scrabble Words With Friends